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Entries from June 2009

Brief Interviews with Hideous Bloggers

June 29th, 2009 · 2 Comments

In case anyone’s interested, I’m joining a bunch of other mostly-political blogger friends who are reading (and writing about) David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest this summer over at A Supposedly Fun Blog.

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Tags: Art & Culture · Language and Literature · Self Promotion

United States v. Doe

June 29th, 2009 · 4 Comments

I’ve already written about this at some length, but I see that one of the bogus charges against prospective OIRA director Cass Sunstein is actually holding up his confirmation: Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) has blocked President Obama’s candidate for regulation czar, Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, because Sunstein has argued that animals should have the […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media · Law

Liberté, égalité, paternalisme

June 29th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Yglesias has a good point on the proposed French burqa ban: [T]his sort of ban seems extremely unlikely to actually help anyone who’s genuinely in need of help. A woman whose husband and/or other male relations have enough power over her to force her into a burqa against her will is only going to be […]

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Tags: Law · Nannyism · Obedience and Insubordination · Religion

A Constitutional Coup?

June 29th, 2009 · 4 Comments

So, obviously it’s never a good sign for democracy when the president is bustled out of the country under military guard. But I’m nevertheless a bit perplexed about the univocal condemnation—and simliarly one-sided coverage—of the  ouster of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya. Without pretending to any expertise on the Honduran political scene, here’s what I’ve gathered […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Law

A Strange Respect

June 27th, 2009 · 5 Comments

From a New York Times piece on Michael Jackson’s finances: “It’s all a mess,” said one executive involved in Mr. Jackson’s financial affairs who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of respect for the entertainer’s family. “No one really knows what is going on, but these are early days.” While I approve of the […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Don’t Get Clever

June 26th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Justin Fox (via Ezra) calls for dumber regulation: The argument goes like this: the biggest flaw in current financial regulation is not that there is too little of it or too much, but that it relies on regulators knowing best.   […] You can spin this into a case for reduced regulation–regulators are likely to mess […]

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Tags: Economics

Your Daily Goldfarb Forehead-Smack

June 26th, 2009 · 5 Comments

An attempt to downplay the potential for backlash against perceived U.S. “meddling” in Iran: Maybe some obscure event that happened fifty years ago can explain why Egyptians would want U.S. support and Iranians wouldn’t. I realize that it’s an obscure bit of trivia for most Americans that the CIA orchestrated a coup against Mohammed Mossadeq […]

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Tags: Sociology · War

Census Paranoia

June 25th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Look, I realize that because Michelle Bachmann is, in fact, completely round-the-bend cuckoobananas, it’s tempting to mock her when she defends her freakout over the census by alluding to the historical use of census data to help round up Americans of Japanese ancestry for internment in World War II. But I’m not sure why it’s […]

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Tags: Privacy and Surveillance

Sanford and Sin

June 25th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Now that the sheer bizarreness of it all is wearing off, I’m starting to register how sad the Mark Sanford saga is. For his wife and chidren, obviously—but also for Sanford himself: The e-mails between Sanford and the Other Woman published yesterday don’t suggest some sleazy lothario so much as a man who,  to his […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media

Efficient Enough to Be Regulated?

June 25th, 2009 · 3 Comments

An interesting point from Ezra, summarizing Brad Plumer: Brad Plumer has a very nice post on why the Congressional Budget Office has, historically, predicted that pollution regulations would cost much more than they actually did. When Congress went to create a cap-and-trade plan for sulfur dioxide in the early ’90s, the CBO figured that permits […]

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Tags: Economics · Libertarian Theory